Curt Ellison and Ladonna Hoskins: An Appreciation

Dear folks,

On behalf of the Michael J. Colligan History Project, I write to acknowledge the distinguished service of my friends and colleagues, Dr. Curt Ellison and Ladonna Hoskins. Please join me in wishing them a long, happy, and active retirement!

L-r: Ladonna Hoskins, Dr. Curt Ellison, Dr. Matthew Smith

Curt retires after forty-eight years at Miami University and some 100 events at Miami Regionals. Since coming to Miami in 1970, Curt was dean or interim dean of three Miami schools, teaching History, Appalachian Studies, American Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and English. He published numerous books and articles including Country Music Culture: From Hard Times to Heaven, and has a project under way on “Ralph Stanley & the Appalachian Diaspora.” Curt served as Director of the Colligan Project at Hamilton and Miami University Regionals Appalachian Studies since 2010. Highlights include the centennial commemoration of the 1913 Great Miami River Flood, the community turnout for David McCullough’s 2016 Dolibois Prize Lecture, and the pioneering Bluegrass Music Heritage of Southwestern Ohio project with Appalachian Studies.

Ladonna worked at the Colligan Project since the beginning in 2000. Her skill, dedication, and attention to detail have ensured the steady growth and success of our programs, and her sunny personality brought a burst of Florida warmth to our Project. She and her partner Steve have been enjoying retirement and traveling the US, fishing, boating, and motor racing!

I look forward to succeeding Curt this fall as Director of Public Programs, with responsibility for the Colligan Project, Appalachian Studies, and the Wilks and Casper Lectures in Hamilton and Middletown respectively. I’m also grateful for the support and know-how of our capable new Program Associate, Sheila Williams, who joined our team this year.

Together we plan to bringing many exciting speakers and events in the years to come!

Matthew Smith.

2 thoughts on “Curt Ellison and Ladonna Hoskins: An Appreciation

  1. Nicely done, Matthew. I couldn’t agree more … Curt and LaDonna are just good people. It is a pleasure to know them, and to have worked with them on so many events over the years. They will be missed. I wish them the very best in retirement!

    And it comes as welcome news that Matthew Smith has been named Director of Public Programs!


  2. Two of the best! LaDonna is one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met, and Jim says Curt is the most interesting person he knows. Best wishes on your respective retirements, and we hope to continue seeing you at MUH events.

    Emily and Jim Fuhrman

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